Begun in 1874, the line ran north from Sausalito, a ferry ride across the bay from San Francisco. It crossed through then rural Marin County and skirted the eastern shore of Tomales Bay, turning inland across the verdant farms of Sonoma County. Passing through small communities such as Tomales, Freestone, Fallon, Valley Ford and Occidental, the line entered the redwood country bordering the Russian River.
In its 60 year life the NPC hauled millions of board feet of prime redwood lumber to market, fed San Francisco with farm and dairy products and provided the lifeline for the growing urban population to escape the city for a weekend. The proud narrow gauge lasted through several changes of structure and ownership and carried several names (North Pacific Coast, North Shore, and finally a division of the Northwestern Pacific), but finally gave over to the internal combustion engine in 1930.
The North Pacific Coast Railroad section is undergoing fundamental and active research on all its aspects: equipment, structures, history, economics, and people.
Glimpses Of The Ghost: A Driving Tour of the North Pacific Coast Railroad
by Boone Morrison.
Collected Period News Articles.
From the Daily Alta California.
Senate Bill 960. April 11th, 1872.
U.S. Senate Bill issuing land grants to the North Pacific Coast Railroad.
Collected NPC Photos.
Images collected from private collections, libraries and historical societies.
The Route of the North Pacific Coast in Google Earth.
by Craig Hoefer
The Birth of California Narrow Gauge by Bruce Macgregor.
Narrow Gauge to the Redwoods: The Story of the North Pacific Coast-Railroad and San Francisco Bay Paddle Wheel Ferries by A. Bray Dickinson.
Redwood Railways: A History of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad and Predecessor Lines by Gilbert Kneiss.
Oil Lamps and Iron Ponies: A Chronicle of the Narrow Gauges by Frederic Shaw, Clement Fisher, and George Harlan.
The Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Redwood Empire Route by Fred A. Stindt.
The Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Vol. 2: 1964-1985 by Fred A. Stindt.